Clogged tear duct

With a blocked tear duct, tears cannot drain normally, which causes excessive moistening and even irritation of the eyes. The condition is due to partial or complete obstruction of the lacrimal drainage system.

Blocked tear ducts is a common condition in newborns, but usually resolves on its own within the first year of life.

In adults, a blocked tear duct is most often the result of trauma, infection, or tumor.

Clogging can in any case be corrected. And the method for this is determined at the doctor’s discretion depending on the cause and the age of the patient.

What are the symptoms?

• Excessive tearing;
• Periodic inflammation of the eyes /conjunctivitis/;
• Recurrent eye infections;
• Painful swelling near to the inner corner of the eye;
• Mucus or purulent exudate from the eyelids and from the surface of the eye;
• Blurred vision;

What are the causes?

The lacrimal glands secrete most of the tears. These glands are located in the upper part of the eyelids above each eye.

Normally, tears drain from the lacrimal glands on the surface of the eye and flow into small openings located in the corners of the upper and lower eyelids, which have small canals

Through these structures, tears flow into the lacrimal sac. From there, they pass through the nasolacrimal duct. Once on the surface of the nose, tears are reabsorbed.

Clogs can occur in any part of the tear drainage system. This most often leads to watery eyes and an increased risk of eye infections and inflammation.

Blocked tear ducts can occur at any age. It is even possible that the condition is congenital.

The most common causes are:

• Congenital obstruction – many babies are born with a blocked tear duct. It is possible that the lacrimal drainage system is not fully developed or there are abnormalities of the lacrimal duct.

A thin membrane of tissue often remains over the opening of the nasolacrimal duct, representing a blockage of the tear ducts. Usually the membrane disappears spontaneously in the first or second month of life.

As we age the openings of the tear ducts in the eyelids may become narrower resulting in a partial blockage that slows the flow of tears in the nasolacrimal duct . Complete blockage of the lacrimal duct openings may also occur.

• Chronic eye infections or inflammation;

• Facial injuries or trauma – can cause damage to the bones near the tear drainage system, interrupting normal tear flow through the ducts.

Topical medications, such as those used to treat glaucoma, can cause blockage of the tear duct.

• Treatment of malignant diseases, as sometimes the strong drugs used in chemotherapy cause blockage of the tear ducts.

Treatment of a blocked tear duct

The cause of the condition determines the appropriate treatment.

• If there are doubts about an infection, the attending physician prescribes an antibiotic in the form of eye drops.

• If the cause is a tumor, treatment focuses on the cause. Its removal can be carried out through surgical intervention or it is possible to use other methods to reduce its size.

• In babies born with a blocked tear duct, it is usually waited because the tear drainage system develops during the first 2-3 months of life.

If the problem does not resolve itself, the child’s pediatrician teaches the parents to apply a special massage technique.

When the baby is massaged several times a day, the membrane that covers the opening of the tear duct recedes and the problem is solved.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also
Back to top button